Several teams climb in first regular-season football rankings

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

A remarkable opening week of the high school football season officially ended with 11 local teams winning and the only loss coming in a county battle where one team had to lose.

That showing has led to several teams rising the ranks in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association high school football standings, which was released on Wednesday morning, Aug. 25.

The first regular-season rankings of the season, the same five teams who were mentioned in the preseason standings were also recognized in this week’s poll, but several improved their standing.

The Thompson Warriors remained the unanimous No. 1 team in Class 7A, receiving all 22 first-place votes following a 55-0 shutout of Oxford to open the season.

The Warriors clicked from the start on both sides of the ball in the first game, while starters only played the first series of the second half.

Thompson sits ahead of Hoover, Auburn, Hewitt-Trussville and Central-Phenix City in the top five. That puts two region foes inside the top four of the 7A standings, while the other two are the ones the Warriors have played in the last two state championship games.

Joining Thompson in the 7A top 10 was Oak Mountain, who moved from 11th spot in the preseason rankings to the No. 10 spot after one week.

The Eagles opened with a 46-19 win against Chelsea that saw them score touchdowns on four of the first six plays in the second half and score 33 points in the fourth quarter to bust open a 13-13 game at the half.

The speed of Evan Smith and CJ Branson running the football seemed to be the difference, while Oak Mountain also found some good opportunities in the passing game. The defenses also played lights out in the second half, giving up just one score late in the final quarter.

The Briarwood Lions were the only other team to earn a spot in their respective top 10 following week one.

Briarwood opened the season No. 5 in the Class 6A standings and has now moved up after a 41-17 win against Class 4A No. 3 Madison Academy.

Now sitting at No. 4 in the classification, the Lions put together a strong opening night behind Christopher Vizzina and Luke Reebals, who both totaled near 200 all-purpose yards. Defensively, they also got off to a strong start by giving up less than 150 yards despite the departure of several leaders on that side of the ball.

Two other Class 6A teams from Shelby County earned recognition in the rankings after impressive opening wins.

Rivals Helena and Pelham were both just outside of the top 10 in the classification with the Huskies earning the No. 11 spot and Pelham the 14th spot.

Helena put together a dominant 55-0 shutout against Dallas County in week one with a perfect defensive showing, a perfect night from quarterback Mac Turner in short work and six running backs totaling at least 30 yards.

Pelham also opened the season with a statement win as possibly one of the more underrated teams in the state.

The Panthers, who returned the majority of their talent this season, took down Mortimer Jordan 42-6 after gaining a 35-0 halftime lead. That was a game they won by just seven points last year in a 28-21 game.

Will Lankford, Gabe Gamble and Darius Copeland were just a few of the offensive stars to shine during the win, while the defense gave up its least amount of points since Oct. 6, 2018.

Montevallo also continued to gain votes in the first regular-season poll. The Bulldogs finished tied for 14th in voting in the 4A classification, which puts them in the same spot as the preseason rankings.

In the opener, Montevallo put together a 30-13 win against 5A Marbury behind 308 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Joseph Anderson.

Despite quarterback issues at times following Kial Cottingham’s injury early, the Bulldogs still scored 30 and won by 17 against a team one classification higher to kick off the season.

They remain a team that should make a splash with the return of a strong core of the team off last year’s 7-5 season during Blake Boren’s first year leading the team.

See the entire rankings below:

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Thompson (22); 1-0; 264
  2. Hoover; 1-0; 190
  3. Auburn; 1-0; 174
  4. Hewitt-Trussville; 1-0; 164
  5. Central-Phenix City; 1-0; 132
  6. Theodore; 1-0; 110
  7. Daphne; 0-0; 83
  8. James Clemens; 1-0; 63
  9. Enterprise; 1-0; 43
  10. Oak Mountain; 1-0; 26

Others receiving votes: Austin (0-1) 3, Baker (1-0) 1, Prattville (1-0) 1.

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Spanish Fort (18); 1-0; 252
  2. Clay-Chalkville (2); 1-0; 198
  3. Pinson Valley (2); 0-1; 177
  4. Briarwood; 1-0; 164
  5. Mountain Brook; 1-0; 124
  6. Opelika; 0-1; 84
  7. Eufaula; 1-0; 83
  8. Hartselle; 1-0; 50
  9. Homewood; 1-0; 39
  10. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa; 0-1; 29

Others receiving votes: Helena (1-0) 18, McGill-Toolen (0-1) 16, McAdory (1-0) 12, Pelham (1-0) 3, Hueytown (1-0) 2, Oxford (0-1) 2, Athens (1-0) 1.

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Pike Road (18); 1-0; 250
  2. Pleasant Grove (4); 0-0; 198
  3. Central-Clay Co.; 1-0; 162
  4. St. Paul’s; 0-1; 137
  5. Leeds; 1-0; 128
  6. Faith-Mobile; 0-1; 111
  7. Andalusia; 1-0; 76
  8. Russellville; 1-0; 66
  9. Alexandria; 0-0; 51
  10. Guntersville; 0-1; 24

Others receiving votes: Tallassee (1-0) 19, Center Point (1-0) 13, UMS-Wright (0-1) 13, Fairview (1-0) 5, Greenville (1-0) 1.

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Gordo (16); 1-0; 246
  2. Handley (6); 1-0; 209
  3. Williamson; 1-0; 164
  4. Jacksonville; 1-0; 141
  5. Madison Aca.; 0-1; 101
  6. West Limestone; 0-0; 93
  7. American Chr.; 0-1; 90
  8. Vigor; 1-0; 75
  9. Mobile Chr.; 0-0; 74
  10. Jackson; 1-0; 23

Others receiving votes: Anniston (1-0) 15, Bibb Co. (1-0) 9, Etowah (0-1) 7, Deshler (0-1) 3, Montevallo (1-0) 3, St. James (0-1) 1.

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Fyffe (21); 1-0; 261
  2. Piedmont (1); 0-0; 197
  3. Catholic-Montgomery; 1-0; 170
  4. Montgomery Aca.; 1-0; 145
  5. Slocomb; 0-0; 111
  6. Plainview; 0-0; 100
  7. Flomaton; 0-0; 78
  8. Hillcrest-Evergreen; 0-1; 64
  9. Opp; 1-0; 52
  10. Bayside Aca.; 1-0; 24

Others receiving votes: Thomasville (0-0) 21, Ohatchee (0-1) 16, Saks (1-0) 6, Dadeville (0-0) 3, Oakman (0-1) 3, Excel (1-0) 1, Reeltown (0-1) 1, Southside-Selma (0-0) 1.

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Lanett (18); 1-0; 252
  2. Abbeville; 0-0; 178
  3. Mars Hill Bible (4); 0-1; 176
  4. Clarke Co.; 0-0; 157
  5. North Sand Mountain; 0-0; 134
  6. Geneva Co.; 0-0; 103
  7. Spring Garden; 0-0; 81
  8. Elba; 1-0; 69
  9. Westbrook Chr.; 1-0; 54
  10. Falkville; 1-0; 47

Others receiving votes: Addison (1-0) 1, Red Bay (0-1) 1, Whitesburg Chr. (0-1) 1.

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Brantley (20); 0-0; 255
  2. Sweet Water (2); 0-0; 195
  3. Pickens Co.; 0-0; 178
  4. Linden; 0-0; 154
  5. Maplesville; 1-0; 139
  6. Millry; 0-0; 100
  7. McKenzie; 0-0; 71
  8. Cedar Bluff; 0-0; 60
  9. Decatur Heritage; 0-1; 55
  10. Loachapoka; 1-0; 40

Others receiving votes: Florala (0-0) 4, Berry (0-1) 1, Marion Co. (1-0) 1, Winterboro (1-0) 1.

AISA

Team (first-place);W-L;Pts

  1. Escambia Aca. (16); 1-0; 246
  2. Glenwood (6); 1-0; 215
  3. Autauga Aca.; 1-0; 170
  4. Pike Liberal Arts; 0-1; 154
  5. Chambers Aca.; 1-0; 137
  6. Macon-East; 1-0; 108
  7. Patrician; 0-0; 69
  8. Bessemer Aca.; 0-1; 59
  9. Morgan Aca.; 0-0; 47
  10. Tuscaloosa Aca.; 0-1; 31

Others receiving votes: Crenshaw Chr. (0-0) 10, Sparta (0-0) 7, Abbeville Chr. (1-0) 1.